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Overview

Each year Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for use by strangers in medical procedures. Who gives, who receives, who profits? Kara Swanson traces body banks from the first experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to current websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.
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Banking on the Body

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Overview

Each year Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for use by strangers in medical procedures. Who gives, who receives, who profits? Kara Swanson traces body banks from the first experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to current websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
07/01/2014
Is blood a gift or a commodity? Is artificial insemination a form of adultery? These are some of the questions Swanson (law, Northeastern Univ., Boston) explores in the history of therapeutic treatments involving human products. This fascinating and well-analyzed work investigates the debates surrounding such substances as commodity or community resources, and looks at gender issues and legal reactions. In the cases of blood and breast milk, donors have over time transitioned from highly personal wet nurses or vein-to-vein blood donors to unknown sources of a processed product. The only participants to move away from secrecy are sperm donors whose attributes are listed in catalogs. Unfortunately, many of Swanson's stories provide only tempting outlines of the histories presented. Readers will be left to search the text's notes or online for more information about the interesting individuals involved, such as those who linked free blood to communism or engaged in questionable experiments. VERDICT Despite the lack of detail in the cases presented, this is a great book for anyone curious about the history, development, and commodification of human bodily fluids for therapeutic use.—Susanne Caro, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674369498
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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